CAMERA has a post on the latest case of an accusation against Israel for killing a Palestinian child, Abir Aramin. Witnesses claim she was killed by rubber bullets. The autopsy formally contradicts such a claim. But not before the MSM got to work. Below the posting at CAMERA with comments:
Al Durah II?
The investigations that exonerated Israel for the killing seven years ago of 10-year-old Mohammed Al-Dura did little to soothe the raging Muslim world. Once again, Israel has been blamed for the killing of a 10-year-old Palestinian child, and the death is expected to fuel Arab hatred of Israel. As the AP reported on Friday:
Meanwhile, the 10-year-old daughter of a Palestinian peace activist died Friday after being struck in the head days earlier by a rubber bullet fired by Israeli security forces in the West Bank. Abir Aramin’s death was expected to further fan Arab anger against Israel.
I especially love the use of the intransitive and the passive: “the death was expected to fuel further hatred…” Not: “We the talking heads in the MSM expect the Palestinian accusations of Israeli soldiers murdering a poor defenseless Palestinian girl, which we the MSM report uncritically, to further fan hatred… ” That would cut to close to the bone.
Likewise, Greg Myre of the New York Times duly noted Saturday:
A 10-year-old Palestinian girl, Abir Aramin, died Friday from wounds sustained when she was hit by fire from the Israeli border police on Tuesday in the West Bank town of Anata, near Jerusalem, Palestinian witnesses and relatives said. Abir and her classmates were on recess from school when the Israeli forces fired on stone-throwing Palestinians with rubber bullets and stun grenades, according to the Palestinians.
At least Myre has the courtesy to mention “according to the Palestinians…” But that doesn’t yet mean to people what it should: profoundly suspect and unreliable.
And why were the kids being let out to recess while Palestinians were throwing stones at Israeli troops?
Today, however, Ha’aretz reports that an autopsy ruled out rubber bullets as the cause of the fatal injury:
Ten-year-old Abir Aramin was apparently killed by a blunt object, and not by a rubber bullet, as some eyewitnesses claimed, according to the autopsy findings. . .
Police sources said on Sunday that autopsy findings indicated Aramin could have been killed by concussion from a shock grenade or by a thrown rock. However, they said, the findings were inconsistent with her having been killed by a rubber bullet: No bullet wounds were found on her body, and the skull injury that caused her death was a large one, whereas rubber bullets, even if they do not penetrate, usually make small wounds.
The autopsy was performed last Friday at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Kabir, with a pathologist hired by Aramin’s family in attendance. (“Girl allegedly killed by Border Police may have been hit by rock”)
I’d be extremely interested in knowing why the family asked for the autopsy, and how the news got out. This is a very encouraging sign of resistance within the Palestinian world to the self-destructive abuse of the media that so often passes for Palestinian patriotism. Of course the fact that the girl ended up in Haddassah hospital may have something to do with this. Al Durah was scrupulously kept out of Israeli hospitals, even though his father’s employer offered all expenses paid for both Jamal and his son Muhammad.
Thus, it appears that stone-throwing Palestinians, as opposed to Israeli border police firing rubber bullets (as initially reported), may very well have been responsible for the death of Aramin. The question remains how quickly and effectively media outlets can undo the damage.
CAMERA has contacted the AP and New York Times to request an update on this development. Stay tuned.
Contact the AP and the NYT immediately. They are only too happy to quote Ha-Aretz when it’s critical of Israel.
Another article by Karen Laub in AP published at the NYT Website on Sunday, deals in detail with the father’s grief. But although it reports the situation differently, it makes no reference to the autopsy, which was done on Saturday.
The events began Tuesday morning, outside Abir’s school, one of three lining the main road in the Arab neighborhood of Anata, which straddles Jerusalem and the West Bank. Classes had let out early because of midterms, and boys leaving school threw stones at Israeli border police patrolling in a jeep, a routine occurrence.
Now this is interesting. Was Laub there? Who said it was routine? And to what extent may it not have been more than routine? The Border police have a different version of events. According to Ha-Aretz, they claim:
The Border Police have admitted to firing rubber bullets, saying they did so to break up a violent demonstration that made them fear they would be lynched.
And yet Laub for the AP, taken up by the NYT in toto apparently, speaks with the authority of an omniscient narrator: “The boys leaving school threw stones at Israeli border police… a routine occurrence.” The Israeli version, which would place that narrative into question, does not appear. The uninformed reader cannot know he is dealing with competing narratives which need to be assessed.
Abir and her sister Areen, 12, were in the street near the school when Abir was hit by something in the back of the head, Areen said, adding that she is not sure what it was. Abir collapsed and was taken first to a nearby hospital and then to Jerusalem’s largest, Hadassah, where she underwent brain surgery.
She died late Thursday and was buried Friday.
Note that we now have a key eyewitness who admits that she doesn’t know what hit and killed the girl. But no mention of the autopsy, just as no mention of the Israeli version of events.
The family’s attorney, Michael Sfard of the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, said his initial investigation showed that border police fired rubber coated steel pellets to disperse the crowd, at a time when their lives were not in danger.
Now I was not there, and don’t know what happened. But I would be extremely cautious of making any statement based on an individual’s “initial investigation” in a case like this, especially if I were not there (as I presume is the case for Michael Sfard). For him to jump in with a remark like this (which, note, does not address the issue of whether these rubber bullets killed the girl), accusing the Israelis of firing unjustifiably, strikes me as irresponsable to say the least. And he’s accusing his own people! We might be able to write Mark Garlasco’s equally premature expertise in the Ghalia family tragedy last summer off to his hostility to the Israelis as “others.” But Sfard? What’s his rush to indict his own people?
Merav Hadad, a border police spokeswoman, said the forces in Anata acted under army orders, but that she could not comment on specifics because the incident is under investigation.
Now was Merav Hadad as uncommunicative as our source says, or did she make the statement quoted in Ha-Aretz, that the police feared for their lives, and the reporter preferred to present it as he did. Both are possible: Israeli spokespeople are notoriously slow and cautious in their responses; reporters are notoriously free with their use of citations.
The rest of the AP article is a very impressive tale of the father’s reaction. He’s ex-Fatah who’s joined with IDF people who want to stop the killing. It takes on a whole different color if you understand that the Israelis did not kill this girl, that far more likely, she is another victim of Palestinian on Palestinian violence that is supposed to get blamed on the Israelis. And the media is still working doing the wrong job and betraying its constituency, its readers.
Camera has followed the strange developments in this case.